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Shimano ME7 Review

A thoughtfully designed, versatile, and high-performance trail and all-mountain shoe
shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review
Credit: Shimano
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $220 List | $164.99 at REI
Pros:  Good power transfer, relatively lightweight, quick and secure closure system, ankle gasket helps keep debris out, good walkability,
Cons:  Only comes in full EU sizes, potentially polarizing style
Manufacturer:   Shimano
By Jeremy Benson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 10, 2022
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87
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 18
  • Power Transfer - 20% 8.0
  • Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Traction Walkability - 25% 9.0
  • Weight - 15% 8.0
  • Durability - 15% 9.0

Our Verdict

The unique-looking ME7 has been a staple in Shimano's line of trail and all-mountain shoes for some time. The latest version remains largely unchanged from the original, with updates primarily to its aesthetics. With a stiff carbon composite midsole, it provides great power to the pedals with enough flex through the toe and a grippy sole that provides confidence and comfort off the bike. The synthetic uppers conform nicely to the feet and have adequate ventilation while a raised neoprene ankle cuff keeps dirt and debris out of your shoes. The combination of speed laces, a lace cover, and a ratcheting buckle secure the feet very well and is impressively quick and easy to use. The looks may not be for everyone, but we feel this is one of the most versatile and best-performing shoes we've tested in a while.

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shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review
This Product
Shimano ME7
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $220 List
$164.99 at REI
$180 List
Check Price at REI
$149.99 at Amazon
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$130 List$62.97 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good power transfer, relatively lightweight, quick and secure closure system, ankle gasket helps keep debris out, good walkability,Durable construction, comfortable, great traction and walkabilityLightweight, reasonable price, good power transfer, comfortableLightweight, reasonable price, casual style, great blend of pedaling stiffness and walkabilityInexpensive, comfortable, great off the bike
Cons Only comes in full EU sizes, potentially polarizing styleHeavy, no ankle protectionMinimal foot protection, not great for walking, smaller cleat adjustment rangeRoomy fit in the forefoot, not the best lateral stabilityMinimal protection, limited cleat adjustment, below average power transfer
Bottom Line A thoughtfully designed, versatile, and high-performance trail and all-mountain shoeA beefy and rugged shoe that should stand up to multiple seasons of abuseA quality shoe that offers high-end cross-country performance at a reasonable priceAn affordable, lightweight, casual-looking trail riding shoe with good power transfer and off the bike walkabilityA well-rounded, budget-friendly option that's just as comfortable off the bike as it is on
Rating Categories Shimano ME7 Ride Concepts Talla... Scott MTB Team Boa Specialized 2FO Roo... Giro Gauge
Power Transfer (20%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Traction Walkability (25%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
10.0
Weight (15%)
8.0
5.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
Durability (15%)
9.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Shimano ME7 Ride Concepts Talla... Scott MTB Team Boa Specialized 2FO Roo... Giro Gauge
Closure Speed lacing system with cover and ratchting upper bucckle Laces plus velcro strap Boa iP-1 dial, plus velcro strap Laces Laces
Measured Weight (per shoe) 415 grams 539 grams 359 grams 375 grams 452 grams
Size Tested 44 11 44 43.5 45
Width Options Regular and Wide Regular Regular Regular Regular
Upper Material Synthetic Leather Bonded Cordura mech with TPU toe and heel protection Synthetic Polyurethane, 3D Airmesh Synthetic Leather and Textile Synchwire on-piece composite
Footbed Shimano Pedaling Dynamics insole D30 High Impact Insole ErgoLogic Specialized Body Geometry Die-cut EVA
Midsole Carbon Fiber composite "TORBAL" midsole RC Powerdrive Nylon Shank Nylon/Glass Fiber Composite Stiff Lollipop nylon composite plate Injected nylon shank
Outsole Michelin OCX3 dual-density Clip Grip StickiRubber SlipNot FG Rubber outsole

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Shimano ME7 is a uniquely styled shoe aimed squarely at the trail, all-mountain, and enduro rider. While it has been updated a few times since the original came out several years ago, the changes have been minor and we feel it is among the best all-around shoes on the market today. We feel the combination of reasonably light weight, great power transfer, and off-the-bike traction and walkability make this a great option for many riders.

Performance Comparison


shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review - the me7 is a highly versatile shoe that is equally at home on...
The ME7 is a highly versatile shoe that is equally at home on all-day epics as it is shredding shuttle laps in rowdy terrain.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Power Transfer


Shimano claims their carbon fiber composite sole/midsole provides the pedaling effectiveness of an XC shoe, and we can't completely disagree. Rated as an eight on Shimano's sole stiffness scale, compared to an 11 for their top-of-the-line ultra-stiff XC race shoe, the ME7 delivers power transfer and pedaling efficiency that should please the majority of riders.


Based on appearance alone, the ME7 doesn't look like it would offer the best pedaling efficiency. The lightweight carbon composite midsole, however, provides a very stiff pedaling platform from the cleat pocket back. Whether you're sprinting out of a corner or grinding up a long climb, when you lay down the power it doesn't feel like any of it is lost through sole flex. It is not XC race shoe stiff, but it is certainly stiff enough for its intended application. In fact, we even logged several PR's on both uphill and downhill segments in these shoes.

shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review - the carbon composite shank provides great power transfer whether...
The carbon composite shank provides great power transfer whether you're sprinting downhill or powering up a steep climb.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Another highlight of the ME7 is how well the sole interfaces with the Shimano XT Trail pedals we used during testing. The sole on either side of the cleat box sits nice and flush on the platform of the pedals, working to provide excellent lateral stability.

shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review - the microfiber uppers conform nicely to the feet, ventilation is...
The microfiber uppers conform nicely to the feet, ventilation is better than expected, and the closures are easy to use and keep the shoes tight on the feet.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Comfort


We were pleasantly surprised by the overall comfort of the ME7. We were initially a little concerned that the higher cuff and neoprene gasket around the ankle could potentially lead to unwanted chafing; those worries soon disappeared after hours of comfortable and hot-spot-free riding. The unique look and styling of the ME7 are by design, and features like the higher cuff and neoprene gasket add to the comfort of these shoes by adding protection in the ankle area from rock strikes with the added benefit of keeping trail debris out of your shoes. Our only real gripe is that they are only offered in whole EU sizes, so those who prefer a half size may not find the perfect fit.


The uppers are constructed primarily of a synthetic leather material that is protected around the toe by a tough rubber rand and around the medial ankle and heel by a rubberized synthetic material. This material conforms to the feet quickly and had a very short break-in period. They are not heavily padded, but the foot feels well protected in these shoes pretty much everywhere, the pinky toe area being the one exception. Perforations over the toe box and on the medial midfoot along with two small mesh panels on the lateral midfoot provide surprisingly effective ventilation.

The shoe is tightened around the foot with Shimano's "speed lace" system and "low profile reverse buckle." As the name suggests, the speed lace system is quick and easy to use. One pull of the laces allows you to cinch these shoes as tight as you want with even pressure over the top of the foot. The laces are hidden under a large Velcro flap to prevent damage and add additional foot protection. The ratcheting buckle and strap secure the upper part of the closure at the top of the tongue and the unique reverse buckle's low profile and position higher on the foot help to keep it out of harm's way. Shimano's insole proved to be very comfortable, providing excellent arch support along with a dense foam pad under the heel that helps absorb impact. The ME7 also has a large range of adjustability in the cleat mount area, that way you can dial in the cleats to your preference, even gravity-oriented riders who like them way back.

shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review - the michelin rubber and open spacing of the sole lugs work well to...
The Michelin rubber and open spacing of the sole lugs work well to provide a good footing when hiking and the flex through the toe allows for a fairly regular gait.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Traction and Walkability


The ME7 strikes a great balance between power transfer and walkability with their sole design. These shoes work as well off the bike as they do while riding, and a are good option for adventure rides with copious amounts of hiking.


The flex through the toe and the tiny amount in the heel make this shoe comfortable and easy to walk in for those inevitable hike-a-bikes and dismounts. The Michelin Rubber outsole offers excellent traction on rocks, logs, and roots, and the widely spaced lugs clear mud, snow, and other debris efficiently while also grabbing onto loose or wet soils more effectively than many other sole designs. These shoes perform great on the bike and inspire confidence when you are forced or choose to walk in them.

shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review - an average weight of 415 grams per shoe is quite reasonable for a...
An average weight of 415 grams per shoe is quite reasonable for a shoe this style. They don't weigh you down.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Weight


The ME7 isn't for the gram-counting mountain bikers of the world, and it isn't intended to be, but it doesn't tip the scales too far either. We found our size 44 test pair to weigh an average of 415 grams per shoe. Most XC racers would likely scoff at that number, but this is in the sweet spot for this shoe's intended purpose, especially considering the features, coverage, and protection this shoe offers. The weight is comparable, and even slightly less than other similar shoes we tested.


Durability


Overall, the ME7 appears to be a durable shoe. We put our test pair through the wringer, and after hundreds of miles of riding and abuse, ours look nearly new aside from a healthy coating of dust.


The uppers appear to be in nearly perfect condition with minimal scuffs or abrasion, and they clean up very easily with a damp cloth. None of the stitching is pulling out, and the well-placed rubber around the toe seems to have taken the brunt of the abrasion from rocks and other debris. The closures still work flawlessly, and the reverse buckle design has helped to keep the ratcheting part of the system out of harm's way while the attachment point of the ladder strap has taken a few rock strikes and scrapes. Underfoot, the outsole has worn amazingly well and looks almost new despite heavy use.

shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review - the me7 is a bit expensive, but we appreciate their excellent on and...
The ME7 is a bit expensive, but we appreciate their excellent on and off-the-bike performance enough to call them a good value.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Value


Despite a relatively high asking price, we feel these shoes are a good value considering the features and performance they have to offer. They are far from the least expensive shoes on the market, but we believe they strike a good balance between performance and value. Those looking for a thoughtfully designed high-performance shoe that offers great protection and excellent on and off-the-bike performance may be very happy with the ME7.

Conclusion


Shimano has done a nice job with the ME7. The thoughtful and purposeful design is ideal for trail and all-mountain riders, even adventurous types. The features, fit, protection, and performance that this shoe offers make it one of our absolute favorites. We highly recommend the ME7 to anyone seeking a comfortable all-mountain shoe with great performance both on and off the bike.

shimano me7 mountain bike shoes review - the me7 has become our new go-to shoe for most riding.
The ME7 has become our new go-to shoe for most riding.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Jeremy Benson
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